Saturday, March 20, 2010

Honduras_Costa Rica (Liberia, La Fortuna, Monte Verde, San Jose)

Crossing the border of Honduras into Costa Rica was really easy and a very different feeling. At the costa rica border, queues were formed in a very orderly manner. The buses awaiting at the entrance were also forming neat lines and it was air-conditioned! -- I guess in all places that has large groups of tourists coming in all the time, there is much more scrunity on the small detaisl such as queues and orders.
With my immigration pass stamped, I quickly bought a ticket from the bus ticket guy and made my way to my first stop: Liberia.
Some information about Liberia: In this town lives over 35,000 people. Liberia is the capital of the Gunacaste province. It is known for its churches architectual and its national parks but most tourists by pass liberia to go to the beaches such as Tamarindo, Playa de Coco , playa hermosa etc etc ( Europeans and US citizens love it there! )

And what greeted me along the way was the wonderful amount of greenery all around.
It reminded me of the fresh air in Munnar India. Loved that place totally.
And the wind turbines that was planted along the way created a very countryside feeling which I liked.

Finally reached the town and loved it immediately. I love all the small dainty towns- because it gives you an atmosphere of relaxation and friendliness. ( Alot of people had said I look like a guatemalan so when I was there, everyone spoke to me in spanish hahaha) Searched around for hostels and realised that most of the hostels had rooms for two, so even if it was only me, I need to pay the price of 2 which was not worth it for me. So I searched around for places with dormitories and I was so relief when I finally found one after 15 minutes of searching - thank God for small towns. Put my bag down and started roaming around-
Loving the decorations all around for an upcoming celebration

sat chilling in front of the church , appreciating its architectual and surroundings

and witnessed a wedding in procession for about an hour or two,

and looking at small children play in the playground nearby and them bouncing on a trampolin. Did I mention alot of Central American children are very beautiful and most are of mix heritage because of the US peacecorps who came, travellers who comes so often and the different roots such as Indian, Chinese etc. They are so beautiful - some with long eye lashes, some with such nice skin color, some with such sweet smiles etc etc

Felt hungry and so I decided to find the famous local food store before it closed.
Really yummy as usual. - black bean rice with huevos and banana chips

After dinner, drowsyness came over me. Decided to sleep and prepare for the travelling for the next day to Monteverde.Because the schedule for the buses were not fixed and only could be known in the morning, I made my way once I woke up at around 8am. Realised I had missed the morning bus to Monteverde and had to wait till around late evening, I tried to plan of what I could do. Searched through the guidebook and decide to go to La Fortuna for the famous Arena Volcano and the natural hot spring which was indeed an eye-opener, the place though touristy, is really nice. Imagine seeing red lava flowing out from the volcano and natural hot spring out in the forest. More will be explained later :)

Upon arrival to La Fortuna, founded the youth hostel Gringo Petes that was recommended and indeed it was quite a lovely place to stay at though the toilets are a little small.They have individual big lockers for you to safekeep your things which is very useful and good for a hostel to have since for 3/4 of the day you would not be there.

Quickly asked the hostel regarding the tour to the Volcano and the hot spring. It was arranged. It was not cheap but it was not expensive either. Most of the tours start in evening so I made my way exploring the town.
Before though, I went to find some food to satisfy my hunger.
Looks similar like the rest. But this time its black bean rice with sweet potatoes.

Spotted the misty volcano because of the rain ( wondered whether it would affect the lava flowing)and the animals that were in the fields and the murals of the town

Time flew pass and soon it was time to go back to the hostel for the tour
first we stopped by a forest and had to trek a little through a trail and come up to a shelter that had a few groups there as well. The tour guide then pointed to a pitch of darkness from afar and said that you will be able to see the lava spewing. ( I was thinking to myself, what!?!?) But after 1 hour of waiting and feeding of mosquitos, the tour guide announced that because of the rain we are unable to see the lava. I was a little disappointed because I have never seen it before. As we drove off on the way to the hot spring. Suddenly he stopped and asked us to get out of the car and bring our cameras along. I looked up and Oh my,first there was red liquid bubbling then it started flowing out with steam all around it.

The feeling of seeing that happen before your eyes is awesome. It also made me pray for the people who stays near volcano because seeing the volcano spew, I cant imagine how some town were envelop in lava when their volcano erupt, taking away their things, their lives and turning them into ashes.
Capturing the sights with our camera, we made our way to the natural hot spring ( it was like a mystery). He brought us to another forest, then told us to follow another trail, we were told to climb down some stones, and before us was a stream. Told to strip to our basics, then walk in slowly to the edge then jump in ( it was a little scary because the water was rushing along and the area where we were told to jump in, we initially did not know the depth and not knowing what was in the water.) and lucky me, I was chosen to go in first. Thank God nothing was there. The water was warm , not hot. but still the feeling of being out in the opening under warm water was still quite comforting. After half an hour, the tour guide called us up where we all quickly tried to change.

Felt really really sleepy then so I am thankful this was a tour where i could sleep and not worry because it will stop directly in front of my hostel.
La Fortuna was a good place to be for me :)

The next morning, I left for Monteverde which was famous for its adventure activities like rafting, bungee jump etc and its cloud forest. When I got to Monteverde, I went from one hostel to another but it was totally packed to the brim. ( please book beforehand, most of the hostels are fully booked for most of the period, its a tourist town)Finally I pleaded with one of the hostel lady and she helped me recheck and told me that there is a lady that will be moving out in the evening so I can put my bag in her office while I walk around then come back and move back in during the evening. However because the room was booked for the next day, I needed to find another hostel. At that moment, I was so thankful for that lady. It was the hostel with the internet and reception room upstairs and seperated from the hostel living rooms.Went to the vistor arrival center to find out about the timing to Monte Verde. Realised that they charged us by per one-way ride. It was too early in the morning to walk so I booked a one-way ride to the Santa Elena cloud forest and then decided to walk back after since I had the time and could explore the area as well.

In the morning was the first group to reach the Santa Elena cloud forest. Was wonderful being in the forest all alone. Just exploring. Following signs. My aim was to reach the highest that I could.

Some very interesting sights
1. Bleeding barks\

2. Interesting flowers/fruits

3. nice birds

With my feet filled with mud and being close to the top, I ended my trek up.

and began my walk back to the town. It was a fantastic idea. Loved the exploration
The fields,

The art shops

Finally got back to town after 2 hours plus 3 hours of walking.Rested my weary back. and quickly went to find another hostel to move in to spend the night. Found one by God's grace. The weird thing was that the room ahd 4 beds , 2 were occupied by 2 males and I was the only girl in the room. Shouldnt it be seperated? Well could not complain , was too tired. That night, the wind howled and blew and it was so cold. And they did not have hot water for the toilet on the first floor. The wind was so strong till the roofs kept rattling and the doors keep slamming shut even though we have put on the ledge and I could hear the wind howling in my ears because my bed was near the window.
The next morning, I made my way to San Jose for the plane back to Guatemala and then back to Monterrey :)

This ends my trip in Central America, I had fun and also scares travelling alone. But the experience was really well-lived. Thumbs up!

1 comment:

  1. Hostel in Hochiminh City

    This blog is highly informatics, crisp and clear. Here everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. This is one of the best blogs I have read.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...